ROGERS CITY - In a bid to attract more boaters to their municipal marina, Rogers City has approved new marina rates for 2013 and to promote the marina at a boat show in the spring.
By adding a new category, city council members and the harbor advisory committee are hoping to entice more boaters to rent slips, Harbormaster Roger Wenzel said. There's also a deal letting those who pay launch fees count them as credit toward a seasonal launch pass.
The city also will rent a booth at a boating show downstate for the first time in several years, in a bid to attract more customers, City Manager Mark Slown said.
For the 2013 season, boaters with vessels measuring 25 to 26 feet long could get a price break compared to last year, Wenzel said. The savings range from $107 for monthly slip rates to $207 for the entire season.
The new rate structure is aimed to entice more boat owners to rent a slip, Wenzel said. When the city approved a new category for boats up to 24 feet long, the Department of Natural Resources Waterways Commission advised the city it should go up to 26 feet. Boats measuring the latter length or shorter can typically be moved by trailer.
"Those are the boats we want to keep in the marina instead of having those being pulled out every day," he said.
Now that city council and the harbor advisory committee have approved the new rates, the city still needs the go-ahead from the Waterways Commission, Slown said. The commission has a say in the rates because the marina was built with a loan from the state, and it's operated in conjunction with the DNR.
"We own (the marina), but we operate it using their reservation system," he said. "They have a set of rates that are set basically for all Waterways Commission-related marinas."
While most boaters will get a price break, others will see an increase, according to the rate schedule. Those with watercraft up to 24 feet long will see their slip rates increase in 2013, ranging from $17 more for monthly rentals to $61 more for the seasonal rate. The increase was decided by the state, Wenzel said.
This year, boaters who use the launch kiosk can save their receipts and turn them in at city hall for credit toward a $50 seasonal launch pass, Wenzel said. The harbor advisory committee opted to try the idea after two people asked for it last year.
The city has approved up to $1,000 of marina funds to send marina employees and a few volunteers from the advisory committee to the Spring Boating Expo in Novi, Slown said. By setting up a display at the show in March, the aim is to attract more boaters from downstate.
In the past, the city had an exhibit at a show in Detroit aimed at pleasure boaters, Wenzel said. This time, the aim is to promote fishing off the shores of Rogers City. In turn, it could draw more anglers to all of Northeast Michigan.
"We still love having all the transient boaters, the tourist boaters, but the fishermen, I think that's where we're really going to help promote the area," he said.
The city also would like to go to another show in the Grand Rapids area if it has the funds, Slown said.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.